BT share price: Group faces new attack by Sky over Openreach

on Jul 7, 2016
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

BT Group (LON:BT.A) is set to come under renewed attack over its Openreach division, with FTSE 100 rival Sky (LON:SKY) claiming that the former telecoms monopoly’s pensioners will be unaffected by the unit’s reform, The Telegraph has reported. The news comes with Sky seeking to increase pressure on BT as industry regulator Ofcom prepares to publish detailed proposals on the future of Openreach this month.

BT’s share price has surged in London this morning, having gained as much as 1.24 percent to 392.35p as of 08:07 BST, as part of a broader market rally which has seen the benchmark FTSE 100 index climb 1.15 percent to 6,538.17 points.
The Telegraph reported yesterday that BT faced a renewed attack from Sky over control of Openreach, after pensions experts said that the telco’s £47-billion retirement scheme would be unaffected by financial independence for the network unit. The newspaper noted that a report by the law firm Sackers claimed that there were multiple “straightforward” options to maintain the scheme if the network division was incorporated as a legally separate subsidiary with control over its own cash flows.

Sky is seeking to step up pressure on BT as Ofcom prepares to publish detailed proposals on the future of Openreach this month, while the former telecoms monopoly is battling to retain as much control of the division’s finances as possible. The Telegraph noted that BT had previously argued that the retirements of about 300,000 current and former staff could be put at risk.
Industry regulator Ofcom meanwhile is facing a legal challenge over claims that it protects BT from broadband competition, with CityFibre accusing the watchdog of making “ridiculous” policy decisions.
As of 08:22 BST, Thursday, 07 July, BT Group plc share price is 387.55p.